Polish authorities managed to catch a criminal group connected with smuggling mass amounts of drugs, including cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy, with the help of the Central Investigation Bureau of the Police (CBŚP), the FBI and Europol. A total of 14 members of the group will face charges.
The first arrest in this case took place in May last year. At that time, police officers stopped a lorry driver near Tarnów, southeastern Poland, while transporting goods from Kraków to Rzeszów. Upon further inspection, the load was found to contain 21 kg of marihuana. Later, similar arrests were made all over the country.
According to prosecutor Mieczysław Sienicki, it was possible to break up the gang thanks to international cooperation. A large role was played by the FBI which intercepted text messages of gang members, and by Europol.
The prosecutor determined that the cannabis was packaged in Alicante, Spain, and was later sent to Poland in wholesale quantities inside lorries filled with fruit and vegetables.
“These were legal courses, the trucks were driven by professional drivers,” a spokesman for the Tarnów district prosecutor’s office noted. The lorries were equipped with a specially constructed hiding place.
Then the substances were marketed in various places in the country, including major cities Krakow and Warsaw. In the course of the investigation over 200 kg of cannabis smuggled from Spain was seized.
Charges are brought against 14 people. In total the defendants have been charged with 33 offences connected with participation in a criminal group, purchasing and importing into Poland substantial amounts of narcotic drugs and further distribution thereof. The defendants face a penalty of up to 15 years behind bars.
Some of the criminals have confessed to the charges and provided explanations confirming the findings of the investigation.
The property of the perpetrators has been secured for criminal penalties in the form of cash in Polish zloty and euro, cars, a motorbike and also real estate with a total value of several million złoty.
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